Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A bride will wear some of your shoes, and Daddy's shoes, and my shoes!

I mentioned how Moira is always talking now. I am not kidding. She had just figured out how to sit on this swing (the seat isn't fixed) and she was still talking. She talks all throughout her swim class, even when the teacher shows her something new.
She has started telling people she's shy too. Usually after trying to engage them in conversation, so now I'm trying to explain to her the difference between shy (which she really isn't) and reserved, since she usually wants to warm up to people before she'll talk to them or even look at them.
If she does engage you in conversation. These are the things she will probably want to tell you. Unless you just gave her a present, in which case, that will also be added to the list.
"My name is Moira!"
"I turned 3 on my birthday!"
"Mommy has a baby in her tummy."
"I have a dog named Stewie."
"Angelina is my friend."
She'll cycle through these until she hits the one that you understand. Then she's usually confused by any clarifying questions you may ask, so she'll move on to one of the other topics.

C'est la Vie

It turns out that I keep thinking of things I could blog about, but then I decide that I would rather play Gemcraft Labyrinth or read. I have been reading a LOT lately, mostly because I've had to have the radio off most of the day because Moira is talking all the time now, and the sensory overload was getting to be too much for me.

But I have done something I'm actually bothering to blog about. I finished my 365 project and it only took me 14 months! I started on my birthday last year, but I decided that it was okay to skip days as necessary. Sometimes many days. So here is a mosaic of some of my favorite pictures, at least today, from the last six months. I think I did something similar for the first six months, but I'm not going to bother to look.
Some photos

I also made a pair of leggings for me which turned out great if a little long. I was worried this would be hard and now that I've done it, I'm not sure why. I have tried it out a couple of times before, without a pattern, and since this time I had a pair to copy, it shouldn't have been intimidating for me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Recommend (but Moira likes this book too)

I was recently at Third Place Books buying a gift. I usually avoid bookstores and the children's section specifically because I could spend all my time, and all our disposable income there. If you've ever seen our house, you know how little Moira needs more books. (maybe people don't know that, since that is 90% of what people give her, which is fine, because she loves books and we do tend to read them all) But I was there, and I was spending money anyway, and I fell in love with a book, so I brought it home for her (me).

The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman. Inside there are pictures of all kinds of configurations of families, single parents, grandparents, gay couples. The illustrations show multi-cultural and multi-generational families all throughout the book. After covering the basic, it goes on to explore the different choices, and sometimes lack of choices, that families make with jobs, school, showing feelings, hobbies, getting along, etc. No judgements are cast on anyone's choices, be they homeschooling or going to school, eating home grown foods or fast food. People of both genders are shown taking care of all aspects of family life from work, to childcare, and no one is made to seem incompetent. There are boys and girls in dresses and playing rough and tumble games. The only thing it could have included to make it more diverse is transgendered people, but I can understand that that topic hasn't successfully filtered into children's literature (Amazon has a list of books for and about transgendered children. This one looks particularly cool
This book is helpful for us right now. Moira and I have been having a lot of conversations about boys and girls lately. She started trying to lock Walker downstairs, saying she didn't want boys in the house. She routinely tells me she hates one of our little male friends; she seems to remember every bad thing any boy she doesn't know well as done by him. She informed me while we were playing hospital that Doctors are boys and Nurses are girls. I pointed out that our doctor is a woman, and a friend we went to the beach with last year is a man and a nurse. She refused to let me pretend to be seen by a female doctor, so I refused to keep playing. We were at Costco buying her a bathrobe to wear to swim class and after a conversation about how all clothes were for all people and she could chose from either side of their sex segregated bathrobe display, the lady putting our purchases back in the cart looked at her blue fish covered bathrobe and exclaimed, "Isn't this one for boys!?" I told her that we loved fish and blue and it was for us, and we walked away. Fortunately, Moira had picked that bathrobe partly because my friend's teenage daughter loves blue and Moira idolizes her, so as we walked out we talked about how SILLY that lady was, and what M would have said, and how much M loves fish (a seriously huge amount), and Moira has not rejected the bathrobe.
She is clinging to a lot of the gender stereotypical stuff right now, and I want to support her desire for pink things, and to be a ballerina/bride/princess/queen, and to be fancy. But I want her to know that 1)she doesn't have to like those things, and 2)boys can like those things too. And that she can like pink and trains. Or fish, for heavens sake.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Take a deep breath

I can't find the post right now, but awhile ago I mentioned how I was trying to teach Moira deep breathing to help her calm herself down. She wasn't interested/able to actually hold her breath, and she preferred to do 'doggy breaths' (pant pant) over anything that would actually slow her breathing down. Surprisingly, the doggy breaths actually seemed to help her focus and calm down, so I kept plugging away at the lesson. Rather then focusing on her when she was losing it, I tried to point out that this was how I handle things when I am losing it.
In the last couple of weeks, Moira has started coaching me through deep breaths when I start getting agitated. "Deep breaths Mommy! Breathe in, breathe out! Phew!" She has also started doing it on her own when she's having trouble settling down, especially at bedtime. Not that this has made her a calm and reasonable three year old, there is plenty of screaming and losing it, but I'm so glad that this technique is working for her.
My current worry is how negatively focused she can be. It's strange, because she is most of the time a pretty happy kid. It just seems that sometimes she needs to be sad, and she will start with something and work her way through everything she can think of that makes her sad. On the one had, I really don't want her to feel that she isn't allowed to be sad, but on the other, I worry that if I don't help her learn to let go of those feelings she will end up sad and anxious like I am. Right now we do a lot of empathizing with her about her feelings, but I did insist that she couldn't be sad all the time in the car. I also decided that it's not okay to scream while you are sad, and if you need to scream you have to go to your bedroom. Fortunately, that's a rule I follow too, so it's easy to enforce.